#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A modern, sophisticated suspense novel from National Book Award finalist, and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart. Don’t miss the eagerly anticipated prequel, Family of Liars, available May 2022!
A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.
“Thrilling, beautiful, and blisteringly smart, We Were Liars is utterly unforgettable.” —John Green, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Fault in Our Stars
An Amazon Best Young Adult Book of the Month, May 2014: E. Lockhart’s novel, We Were Liars, is clever, alluring, and wildly addictive. Each summer the wealthy, seemingly perfect, members of the Sinclair family gather on their private island. We Were Liars is the story of those annual reunions; in particular what happened during a summer that protagonist Cadence is unable to remember. Prejudice, greed, and shifting patriarchal favoritism among the three adult sisters contrasts with the camaraderie and worldview of the teenage cousins and their dear friend Gat. Lazy days of sticky lemonades on the roof and marathon Scrabble games give way to twisty suspense, true love, and good intentions gone horribly wrong. We Were Liars is a story that begs to be read in one sitting. —Seira Wilson
From School Library Journal
“This mindblowing YA thriller from E. Lockhart will make you glad you’re the 99 percent…And that’s about all we can tell you when it comes to the story of ‘We Were Liars,’ the book by E. Lockhart that everyone will be reading, and re-reading, this summer. It’s twisty, it’s mysterious, and it’s got a surprise ending that’ll knock your socks off.”
—Kat Rosenfield, MTV News
“Surprising, thrilling, and beautifully executed in spare, precise, and lyrical prose, Lockhart spins a tragic family drama, the roots of which go back generations. And the ending? Shhhh. Not telling. (But it’s a doozy)…This is poised to be big.” —Booklist, starred review
“Lockhart has created a mystery with an ending most readers won’t see coming, one so horrific it will prompt some to return immediately to page one to figure out how they missed it. At the center of it is a girl who learns the hardest way of all what family means, and what it means to lose the one that really mattered to you.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Riveting, brutal and beautifully told.” —Kirkus, starred review
“The ending is a stunner that will haunt readers for a long time to come.” —School Library Journal, starred review
“A taut psychological mystery marked by an air of uneasy disorientation…The ultimate reveal is shocking both for its tragedy and for the how-could-I-have-not-suspected-that? feeling it leaves us with. But we didn’t, which is Lockhart’s commendable triumph.” —The Horn Book, starred review
“This is a love story as much as it is a psychological mystery…Astonishing.” —Shelf Awareness, starred review
“[a] haunting, sophisticated mystery…a novel so twisty and well-told that it will appeal to older readers as well as to adolescents.” —The Wall Street Journal
“Irresistible premise for this ticking time bomb of a novel.” —The New York Times Book Review
“A Lockhart YA is always a treat and this is no exception…The glimpse we get into a life of privilege, a lifestyle most of us can only imagine, is insightful and thrilling. The ending will shock the mose jaded of readers, we promise!” —RT Book Reviews
“There’s trouble in paradise at the opening of National Book Award finalist and Printz honoree E. Lockhart’s shattering yet ultimately hopeful YA novel . . . and neither family nor reader will ever be the same.” —Library Journal
“It’s a nearly perfect story, and it’s utterly absorbing.” —Bustle, A YA Best Book of the Year
“No book on this summer’s reading list will have readers immobilized in their hammocks more than E. Lockhart’s We Were Liars….. This book has that surprise quality–like Elizabeth Wein’s Code Name Verity–that makes readers scramble back through hungrily devoured chapters and wonder in admiration: Could I have seen this coming? Did I miss any clues?” —Newsday
“Like a shard of glass, WE WERE LIARS glitters and shines, then cuts deep. E. Lockhart has truly outdone herself with this masterful, darkly mesmerizing portrait of a fractured family ruined by the excess of wealth. Humming with rich descriptions and razor-sharp intelligence, the story of Cadence Sinclair Eastman will both inspire and haunt readers for years to come.” —Sarah Pitre, Forever Young Adult
“Perception often is not reality — and it certainly is not in WE WERE LIARS. This is a look at what “a perfect world” looks like on the inside and how it unravels once one of the players sees it for what it is. Pitch perfect in both plotting and character development.”
—Carol Fitzgerald, Book Reporter
“The must-read contemporary novel so far this year is definitely E. Lockhart’s stellar We Were Liars, a rich, stunning summer mystery with a sharp twist that will leaving you dying to talk about the book with a pal or ten.” —Sonia Charaipotra, Parade
“A haunting tale about how families live within their own mythologies. Sad, wonderful, and real.” —Scott Westerfeld, author of Uglies and Leviathan
“I’ve fallen in love with every E. Lockhart book I’ve ever read (and I’ve read them all), but We Were Liars blows them all out of the water. Dark, gripping, heartrending, and terrifyingly smart, this book grabs you from the first page–and will never let go.” — Robin Wasserman, author of The Waking Dark
“Spectacular.” —Lauren Myracle, author of Shine, The Infinite Moment of Us, and TTYL
“A haunting, brilliant, beautiful book. This is E. Lockhart at her mind-blowing best.” — Sarah Mlynowski, author of Don’t Even Think About It and Gimme a Call
“Stunningly sharp. . . . will sear itself into your memory.” —Christian Science Monitor
“A haunting psychological thriller.” —The Guardian
“The mystery driving the plot is a shocking punch in the face that will stay with you long after you finish.” —Hypable.com. Hypable-Weekend Reading
“There’s no preparing for the shocker of an ending.”
“We Were Liars is amazing. I felt run over by it . . . .Emily has done something incredible here. —Paul O. Zelinsky
About the Author
e. lockhart wrote the New York Times bestsellers We Were Liars and Genuine Fraud. Her other books include Fly on the Wall, Dramarama, The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau Banks, and the Ruby Oliver Quartet: The Boyfriend List, The Boy Book, The Treasure Map of Boys, and Real Live Boyfriends. Visit her online at emilylockhart.com, and follow @elockhart on Twitter.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
No one is a criminal.
No one is an addict.
No one is a failure.
The Sinclairs are athletic, tall, and handsome. We are old-money Democrats. Our smiles are wide, our chins square, and our tennis serves aggressive.
It doesn’t matter if divorce shreds the muscles of our hearts so that they will hardly beat without a struggle. It doesn’t matter if trust-fund money is running out; if credit card bills go unpaid on the kitchen counter. It doesn’t matter if there’s a cluster of pill bottles on the bedside table.
It doesn’t matter if one of us is desperately, desperately in love.
that equally desperate measures
must be taken.
We are Sinclairs.
No one is needy.
No one is wrong.
We live, at least in the summertime, on a private island off the coast of Massachusetts.
Perhaps that is all you need to know.